accessibility

Architecture, Long Island City

Photo © Steven Holl Architects

Steven Holl’s Hunters Point Library has garnered glowing architectural reviews since it’s opening last month, but visitors quickly pointed out a critical issue with accessibility in the $41 million building. Although the library has an elevator, it doesn’t stop at the fiction section which is tiered on three levels above the lobby and accessible only via stairs. In light of the criticism, a Queens Public Library official has announced that books in that section will be relocated to an accessible area of the library, as Gothamist reported.

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maps, Policy, Transportation

Photo via Carl Mikoy / Flickr cc

Despite recent progress–and a federal lawsuit–only 23 percent of New York City’s 493 subway and Staten Island Railway (SIR) stations are fully ADA-accessible, a statistic which puts the city dead last among the country’s 10 largest metro systems for accessibility of its transit stations. The MTA has made a commitment to funding accessibility in its much-discussed Capital Plan, but hundreds of stations are still without without plans for ADA access. On Friday Speaker Corey Johnson and the City Council released a report showing that the use of zoning tools to incentivize or require private development projects to address subway station access could speed up progress toward the goal of system-wide ADA access–and simultaneously cut public expense. The report, and an interactive map, show the current system, future plans and what the use of zoning tools could accomplish.

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Transportation

Image via Flickr

After committing to install four elevators at the 14th Street and Sixth Avenue F, M, and L stop as part of a lawsuit settlement, the MTA has now announced it will also be adding elevators to access the 1, 2, and 3 platforms at Seventh Avenue. As The City reported, the 14th Street subway complex between Sixth and Seventh Avenues is one of the busiest stops in the city, servicing more than 48,000 riders a day. The expanded project will make the entire complex fully accessible, though it won’t happen overnight.

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City Living, Policy

Image via Disability Rights Advocates

A settlement in Manhattan Federal Court yesterday has established a plan to improve sidewalk accessibility throughout New York by making all 162,000 street corners in the city fully accessible within 15 years. Judge George B. Daniels mandated a comprehensive citywide survey to identify which corners need curb cuts installed or upgraded, which must be completed by October. This marks an important step toward making the city’s streets easier to access and safer for the disabled community—and all New Yorkers.

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Transportation

Image via Flickr

A state Supreme Court judge has denied the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s request to dismiss a lawsuit over inaccessible subway stations, amNY reported Wednesday. A coalition of accessibility advocacy groups, including the Center for Independence of the Disabled and Disability Rights Activists, filed the suit. They argued that the MTA is in violation of the city’s Human Rights Law because only 24 percent of the subway system’s 472 stations include elevator access.

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Greenpoint, Transportation

Greenpoint Avenue, MTA

Image via Wikimedia

The MTA is moving into the next phase of construction on the elevator installation project at the Greenpoint Avenue G station, but there’s good news for roughly 9,400 regular weekday customers: the MTA is expecting “significantly reduced impact” to service. Work will also focus on updating station infrastructure including stairs, handrails, turnstiles, powered gates, and braille signage—bringing the station to full ADA compliance.

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Transportation

Image via Wikipedia

The Astoria Blvd N and W station in Queens will close at 10 p.m. on Sunday, March 17 and remain shuttered for nine months as New York City Transit works on a multi-phase repair project. The elevated station will get four new elevators and other accessibility features. In order to construct the street elevators, the mezzanine level will be demolished and rebuilt with more vertical clearance to prevent strikes by trucks and other over-height vehicles on the road below.

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Bronx, Transportation

Photo via Flickr

On Wednesday U.S. District Court Judge Edgardo Ramos ruled that the MTA was in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act for failing to install elevators when it renovated a Bronx subway station. The ruling is the result of a 2016 lawsuit initiated by Bronx Independent Living Services after the MTA refused to make a the Middletown Road elevated subway station in the Bronx wheelchair accessible, though the $27 million renovation included new floors, walls, ceilings and stairs to the street and the train platform, Gothamist reports. Ramos’ ruling stated that the MTA is obligated to install an elevator, regardless of cost, unless it is technically infeasible.

Really, MTA?

Policy, Transportation

Photo via Flickr

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority currently claims that 114 of its 427 stations—or 24 percent—are accessible. But a new study led by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s office shows otherwise. A team of staffers surveyed 42 of the stations that the MTA deems accessible, visiting each station on four separate days at different times of the day. Based on complaints and conversations with advocates, they assessed elevator accessibility, station signage, and features for vision-impaired riders. As Curbed first reported, their findings show that an already sub-par statistic is actually inflated.

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maps, Policy, Transportation

Photo via Flickr cc

Roughly 75 percent of New York City’s 472 subway stations are not accessible–a fact that has long plagued disability advocates but has now taken on a more pressing call to action after 22-year-old Malaysia Goodson died after falling down the stairs carrying her baby in a stroller at one of these stations. To visualize this dire need, TransitCenter has put together a map that proposes the next 50 subway stations that should be made accessible under the MTA’s Fast Forward plan. If implemented, their plan would “more than triple the potential station-to-station trips riders who rely on elevators can make using accessible stations.”

How did they choose these 50 stations?

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